Archive: 12/2012

Need Tygem/WBaduk/Non-KGS Partners

So I’ve finally decided to venture out of my KGS bubble. In lieu of my announcement about the new go9dan server, my buddy Justin pointed out that there are other go servers out there with similar features that are free and could potentially be just as awesome. Since I have been with KGS since my inception into go, I am of course skeptical of his claims. So help prove me wrong by helping me navigate these other go servers!

There are two servers in particular that I would like to find partners for: Tygem and WBaduk, but I’m open to other ones as well! Let me know ASAP!

Reckless Go

Life is funny sometimes. Just when I thought I had a breakthrough in my go, I went ahead and played one of the worst games I’ve played in awhile. For those who have experienced the ups and downs of go, you know what I’m talking about: reckless go. For those who don’t know what it is, it consists of the following:

  1. Follow my opponent around the board.
  2. Try to kill everything possible.
  3. Fail to notice any of my own weak groups.
  4. Have little to no legitimate purpose behind my moves.
  5. Play locally and hope it works out on the entire board.

Fortunately, I was not given the chance to slink away in shame and got promptly reamed out for my play. So, as instructed, I will be taking tonight to retreat into solitary and repent for my miserable play by writing down “The List” 50 times. (Proof will be posted tomorrow.) In addition, I want to thank my opponent for not letting me get away with my overplays. I will give you a better game next time!

Below is the game record for your laughter and entertainment. =)

Book Review: The Second Book of Go

Cover of The Second Book of Go

Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Ponnuki

Basic Information

  • Title: The Second Book of Go
  • Author: Richard Bozulich
  • Publication Date: January 1998


  • Lives up to your expectations of being the “second book” of go that you’d like to have after learning the rules, but it may be overwhelming for the casual player.
  • Covers a wide array of vital topics that really makes it worthwhile to purchase.
  • Do not expect to grasp everything the first time you read this book.
  • Appropriate for 18 kyu and stronger.
  • Recommended for serious players and above.

Read More

Mind Blown...

I normally try not to post two games in one day, but tonight I just played a game that blew my mind. I literally went into this game expecting to lose and toy with an idea here or there. Before I knew it though… everything just kind of came together…. It was completely surreal…..

There’s only one comment for the entire SGF due to how late it is, but this is perhaps one of the most controlled games I’ve played to date…

As always, comments and insights would be appreciated!

Free Game Zen

When I decided to go on a ranked game sabbatical, I will tell you right now that I doubted my own abilities to follow through on it. If I could relate it to a person’s diet, it is as if a carnivore tries to go vegetarian for a month. For most people, the thought is incredibly daunting and seemingly impossible. Just like ranked games, I wasn’t sure whether it was entirely possible to go a whole month without playing a single ranked game; but here I am, Day 17, and the differentiation between ranked and free games has become a faint blur. I will be the first to admit that this will not be permanent, but I think this new perspective has allowed my go to be far more creative than before.

The other benefit to playing these free games is that the obsession with winning and losing has also begun to diminish. Most of my games are even games against players that are at least 3 stones stronger, so getting demolished constantly seems to have been good for my go soul. =) On top of it all, when winning and losing becomes more of an afterthought, I find that my games are far more interesting and expand on my current abilities.

Still not convinced? Well, then let me direct your attention to a game I played with a 3k. Hope you enjoy!

New Go Server - Go9Dan!!!

After came out with their go server, I would have never suspected that I would be sitting here telling you about a brand new go server; but reality always has a way of surprising you and I am thrilled to tell you about a brand new go server!!!


Go9Dan will be approaching the server in a brand new way by adding the element of currency to the game. This means that players will now have the ability to put more than just their rank at stake when they play. There are multiple kinds of currency, but in general, they will allow players to bet on games, observe professional games, teaching games (which I believe are from professionals… but don’t quote me on this), buy instructional videos and books, and so on. For more information on the currency, click here. And for the record, while I don’t agree with all the aspects that they plan to utilize the currency for, I do think it will bring a new aspect to online play that will motivate more people to play.

If that wasn’t enough to get you interested in checking Go9Dan out, would it be of any interest to you if I told you that 9 dan professionals will be on this server?!?!?! 9 dans like Lee Sedol?!?!?!!? runs around like a little kid

Here are some of the fantastic benefits that you can get by signing up before February 8th, 2013:

  1. 3 months of Lite Membership
  2. 500 Gold
  3. 1,000,000 MPoints
  4. Entered into a raffle for a chance to play a game against Lee Sedol!!!!!!!
  5. Having the possibility of being one of three players to win a free teaching game with Lee Sedol!!!!!!!!


Now for those who have now explored the sight and are coming back to tell me, “Whoa. Ben. You forgot to mention that this will be a server with a monthly subscription.” False. I intentionally left it off until this point because people need to see the value of the go server first. Now that you’ve seen the potential value of this server, I want to emphasize to you that signing up now is a win-win situation. No money commitment, and the potential benefits are ENORMOUS!!!! And like with any service or product, a 3 month trial to see if you think its worth the money is about as good as it is going to get.

So don’t delay! Go sign up now and be sure to put down bengozen as your referral! See you guys there!

Losing in Style

There’s one thing I’ve learned recently is that leagues are a fantastic place for experimental games. Not convinced? Three reasons:

  1. They are free games. You have nothing to lose.
  2. More often than not, you are playing people stronger than you. If you’re going to lose anyways, why not do so while learning something new?
  3. The reviews of your games will yield more nuggets of wisdom than normal since you are trying to break into new territory.

My record thus far has been pretty abysmal, but like the title of this post suggests, I feel like I’ve been going out with a bang each time. Don’t get me wrong, the losing aspect still stings a little bit; but I am comforted by the idea that the games are not terribly lopsided as a whole.

Here’s to hoping I can hang on to my place in the Beta class… fingers crossed

Fighting Spirit

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #10

Tsuna and Reborn by Electra

In almost every game in the universe, as Yogi Berra once said, “It’s not over till it’s over!” Players are always forced to play it out till the end regardless of the how poorly they are doing. Granted, players can always quit in the middle of the game; but this is generally considered to be poor taste. While every game of go can theoretically be played out to the end, the ability to resign as an honorable method of admitting defeat brings about a critical component of a player’s success in the game: fighting spirit.

If you remember a few posts back, I was in a miserable slump where I was on a losing streak and playing one reckless games after another. With each progressing game, every move became less about the fight for victory and more about mercilessly trying to kill groups while weakening my own. It is the worst form of go possible:_ emotional go that hopes the opponent will make a mistake_. shakes head side to side

While the games I played were not necessarily eye-gouge worthy, it ultimately culminated into the shipwreck that is the game below:

Without any context, the game looks as if White resigned a won game for the sake of sandbagging his rank or helping Black gain rank. Yet, the truth is that my vision had become so clouded with defeat that losing the small group in the lower right corner caused me to feel as if I had lost the entire game. I didn’t even bother to estimate territory, which would have clearly told me not to resign. As you can see, my fighting spirit was not only broken; but there was practically nothing left.

If you’ve ever seen, read or watched anything of the epic genre, you’ll notice that no matter how strong, smart, or talented they are, the critical element that always allow them to triumph at the end is their fighting spirit. In other words, when things get tough, their fighting spirit is what allows them to find a way out and ultimately succeed. The same can be said of go: no matter how good you are at the various aspects of go (e.g., life and death, tesuji, endgame, etc.), it is all irrelevant if you do not have the fighting spirit to back it up.

Taking a page from the esoteric school of energy, we are all born with different levels of spiritual energy. With that in mind, it would not be far fetched to believe that the same can be said of our fighting spirits. There are some who are born with an excess of fighting spirit, and others who are extremely meek. Fear not though, this is something that you can change. It will require a great deal of deep introspection and the help of those close to you, but I assure you it can be done.

The key concept to keep in mind is that your fighting spirit is intricately tied to your personality and perspective on life. In other words, you are essentially trying to change yourself. On the upside though, the reward you will gain from this endeavor is one that will not only impact your ability and enjoyment of go; but it is one that will have a profound impact on the rest of your life.

Weekly Go Wednesday was built on the idea of weekly articles to help players improve and understand various aspects about the go. After much thought and consideration however, I realized that most players have little interest in what a low SDK has to say in regards to improving at go. As a result, until I have proven that my methods work and gain a the respected dan rank, this will be the final issue of Weekly Go Wednesday for now. Till next time!